We have lost count of the number of places we have lived in during our marriage, but it is well over a dozen by now. Some we have owned; some we have rented. Some we have adored; some we have endured. But there is one thing we know how to do, and that is secure a place to live. So it will come as no surprise to any of you who know us that one day after we landed in England we had secured accommodation. True, we did have to wait another four weeks to move in, but at least the place would be ours and we could go about securing the others things we needed, like a car and a bank account.

The flat is a corner unit, with lots of light and a view of the park across the street. There is a theatre beside us and a train station just up the road. It is a five-minute walk to where we now work, and only slightly further than that to where we shop. Most importantly – and this is what closed the deal for us – it came furnished and had a parking spot right beside the flat, two things that are virtually impossible to find in this country. There is even a ramp leading up to the flat from where we park our car.

However, there were two obvious drawbacks: one was that the flat was a one bedroom and a mere 430 square feet in size, and two, that the bed was a double. We had plenty of time over the four weeks we waited to move in to second guess the wisdom of our choice. Now that we have lived here for a month we are happy to report that 430 square feet is perfectly adequate for an elderly couple, and that a double bed is less of a problem than we thought it might be.

The place has other charms as well. The heating comes through the floor, for one. In a land that is considerably colder than the last two countries we have lived in, this is a notable feature. The floors are warm to the touch, and with no fan to move the heat around, there is no air to irritate my allergies. The place is so small that it takes a minimal amount of energy to heat the place, and the windows transmit radiant heat from the sun, even when it is cold. The kitchen is open to the living room, which both of us have always liked. And the closet in the bedroom runs from floor to ceiling so there is actually plenty of space to store our stuff.

But the area around the flat is its greatest feature. We walk in the park most nights, and there is a little pub just down the street that has a great Sunday roast beef carving. We saw the new Bond film at the cinema beside us, and plan to see live theatre there as well. And although we have yet to take the train to London, we have our senior’s passes in hand and are planning a trip in the near future.

Without question there is a liberty that comes with fewer possessions that many in our generation have yet to learn. We arrived here with two suitcases each and will likely leave with less than that. That is virtually all we own in this world, and all we are ever likely to need before we go to heaven. And it turns out that 430 square feet can hold all of it and us quite comfortably. We are grateful to God who clearly had set aside this place for us upon our arrival.